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IDA's EFACEC deal gets national acclaim
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John Henry and the Effingham Industrial Development Authority have known for a long time just how big getting EFACEC to the community was. Now, so will many others.

Trade and Industry Development, a national trade publication, has chosen the IDA’s EFACEC Group project as one of the nation’s top 15 economic development projects. The project was awarded a community impact award in the magazine’s March/April issue.

Henry said he has known about the award for some time, and EFACEC’s decision to locate in Effingham will have an impact for a long time.

“I think it will continue to draw attention to Effingham County as a place to do business and as a key industrial location,” he said. “It means a lot to us to receive this. This probably means more to me and Ryan (Moore, the IDA’s project manager) to see confirmed what we’ve known all along — that this was a real coup for Effingham County.”

Henry said it may be hard for the community to understand what it means to have the Portuguese manufacturer, which will produce electrical transformers, at the Effingham Industrial Park. The company, expected to make an investment of up to $175 million in its Effingham location, is scheduled to employ 600 people by 2015.

EFACEC could break ground in April on its Effingham site.

“Hopefully, we’ll generate more attention when they break ground,” Henry said. “I think everyone will realize how big a deal this is. We’ve known all along.”

“This investment is a landmark for EFACEC and an essential step in our growth strategy in the key United States market,” said Luis Filipe Pereira, EFACEC CEO, in a release. “It also bolsters EFACEC’s plans for expansion and globalization. With this investment, EFACEC hopes to strengthen its connection with current customers, including major U.S. utility companies, and to reach new clients as well.”

Because EFACEC does much more than transformers and has a vast array of products and services, “this could really become huge,” Henry said.

EFACEC’s transformers may not have to go far to find a market, either, according to Henry. He noted one of the county’s biggest taxpayers is Georgia Power, thanks to its Plant McIntosh location.

“We’re blessed with several power plants, and this could help with a little synergy there,” he said.

EFACEC Group is Portugal’s leader in electronics and electromechanics. The Effingham facility will make core form and shell form electrical transformers and mobile substations for the U.S. market.

Trade and Industry Development’s Community Impact Awards highlight projects that have profound positive implications for local communities. The EFACEC Group project ranked 11th of only 15 projects chosen for the award out of all national economic development projects announced in 2007.

“We’ve got a great product to sell,” Henry said. “Effingham County sells itself with its quality of life and its sense of community.”